Less than a month after joining forces, K-Swiss Inc. and its new owner, E.Land World Ltd., have made another buy, Malibu, Calif.-based OTZ Shoes. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Company executives said OTZ will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary, with CEO Bob Rief remaining at the helm. Creative Director Ludo Malmoux will continue in his role, and co-founder Skip Murgatroyd will support legal counsel.
Larry Remington, president and CEO of K-Swiss, said the brand was a natural fit for the company and filled the void between K-Swiss’ athletic styles and Palladium’s fashion boot business. “We thought this is a brand that really has something to offer,” he said. “It’s the only brand that takes a modern, creative look at comfort.”
For his part, Rief said K-Swiss’ and E.Land’s resources, expertise and back-office support will be a big advantage in growing the label. “[Larry] has a lot he can teach us, and he knows an awful lot about the international business,” Rief said.
OTZ is sold in 23 countries, though Remington predicted it could expand to 80 to 90 countries, which is part of what made it an attractive buy.
“We’re looking for opportunities and brands that have some viability in the global marketplace,” he said. “One of the things we really want to use K-Swiss for is as a platform to launch global brands.”
Remington added that the company actively is looking for more acquisition opportunities. “Our eyes are wide open,” he said.